Coral Gables: Haven’t Met a Candidate Who Didn’t Hate Taxes; Haven’t Met a Commissioner Who Didn’t Like Taxes

So far I haven’t met a politician that is in favor of more taxes (except Mayor Slesnick).

All of the current candidates for office have come out against more property taxes.  Of course, the current commission has been approving more taxes all along during this recession so we can’t be sure what they will do on the day of truth.

There are many prevailing pretexts:

  • It is the city manager’s fault;
  • We are holding to the roll-back millage rate (the roll-back rate keeps the total taxes the same as the previous year; so careful, if property values fall this means you pay more taxes);
  • Our taxes are just a small percentage (give or take 26% )of your  total property taxes in Miami-Dade County.  This is real deal!
  • You are paying a lower millage rate this year (but you may still pay more property taxes if your property value went up, unlikely for now, but happended during the real estate boom); and
  • We dare not cut police and fire services (the ultimate trump card);
  • Since the city manager couldn’t cut pensions we will have to charge more taxes.
  • We have cut the staff as much as we can without reducing the “quality of life;” and
  • We don’t have reserves.

Therefore, careful with the property tax gambit.

It takes real courage to fight against taxes and really cut the budget.

About Stephen E. McGaughey
International consultant in economic development programs and projects

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